Preview: Abhishek Iyengar’s Magadi Days is an original Kannada play, to be staged this weekend

Inspired by the BBC hit series Yes Minister, Abhishek Iyengar’s Magadi Days is a political satire that is a reflection of the surreal times we live in. “I always wanted to write something around the three characters in Yes Minister,” says Abhishek, a theatre personality from Bangalore. “Political campaigning has moved to social networking sites. The play is about a Chief Minister in Karnataka, who was a former IT employee. His ambition is to bring more transparency into governance and so orders all his Ministers to update their status on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. But this isn’t well received in the bureaucratic system and this leads to chaos.”

The play is set in Magadi, a small town near Bangalore. “I chose this place as the backdrop because I wanted a constituency where a by-election happens.” The by-elections are an important scene in the play. “However, there is a tie between two candidates and the Chief Minister has to step in.”

Another important part of the play is how the elections affect the common man. To depict this, Abhishek has introduced two characters Ibu and Lakkawwa. Magadi Days is written in simple, contemporary Kannada. “Whatever play we stage, it has to be in a language people know and understand.”

The play has an original music score, with the lyrics written by Abhijith Mahesh and the music composed by Abhishek Narain. Abhishek adds that “the play is directed and designed with free body movements, improvised acting and an experimental stage setting.”

Magadi Days, presented by WeMove Theatre, will be staged at Rangoli Art Centre, Namma Metro Lane, M.G. Road, opposite to Joy Allukas today at 7.30 p.m. and on December 1 at 5.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. It is the first Kannada play to be staged at this space. For details call 9886062324.